My Prince

My prince would have eyes open to his soul, A smile that would open to his heart.

He would let me live between his walls and walk on his fancy parquet.

My prince is not a prince. He is not a slave or a farmer. My prince wouldn’t  just become my partner. My prince would create how I live. My prince would create my lifestyle.

My prince is not a soldier that guards my heart, nor he is a sailor that sails through my tide. My prince would overcome earthquakes and floods, my prince would stand high on a California cliff.

No, my prince is not a man he is a house. A house that would save me from the strongest of disasters. A house that I would build exactly as I’ve always envisioned inside my mind.

My prince would shine under the afternoon sun. My prince would glitter under the moonlight.

My prince would stand time and place. My prince would engrave memories in my mind.

My prince would always be there for me, no matter whoever holds on my heart.

My prince would always be taking me in his arms. My prince would be the comfort and peace of my mind. My prince would be the core of my heart.

My prince is not a man but a house. And one day I will build it on a California Cliff.

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Three Tough Tears.

When I first joined university three years ago it was the first time in my life to feel homesick. As time passed slower than any other time of my life, the situation gradually worsened. Eventually, it turned into depression.

Back in my first year, I used to walk from the architecture building to the main building (700 m) back and fourth a couple of times per day. I climbed hundreds of steps and the elevator was never an option.

That was before the end of the 3rd semester, when by average we had two days of no sleep per week, excursions on Saturdays and Fridays (weekend in Egypt).
I went to school everyday. No naps. And sometimes no sleep at night.
And a total of 10 subjects.
My walking distance started to shorten, the number of steps lessened, and I started considering using the elevator.

The next semester things got even worse. My lost my appetite, and depression hit me, this time, harder than ever. I cried everyday for almost no reason, and I was as homesick as never before. I wanted this nightmare to end as soon as possible.
In the last week of the semester, with 5 submissions in 5 days, I slept a total of 15 hours in the 5 days. That is, an average of 3 hours per day.

When I went back home for summer holiday I slept up to 15 hours per day.

In semester 5, as my family moved to Egypt, I became much friendlier with my colleagues and less aggressive. But still, I felt dead, not emotionally, but physically. At this point I couldn’t take the stairs at all, I rarely walked and the elevator was the only option.
I couldn’t concentrate on any assignment or while surfing the web.
When I looked at myself in the mirror I didn’t know who that girl was anymore.
“They’re here with you, why are you still upset? You should be happy.” I told myself.
By the end of the semester, before a submission I stayed up for continuous 54 hours.
My mother said this would damage our brains.
She was right.
But it wasn’t really an option back then.
By mid-semester 6, my parents were sure something was wrong and took me for a blood test.
My hemoglobin was 10.
I was anemic.

And Vitamin D deficient.
The next couple of months the world became much brighter. I became much less aggressive, much more patient and able to concentrate. I listened to my friends and family. I laughed and joked more. And most important, depression was gone.
I became alive.

Although anemia is quiet common, especially in girls,  I wanted to share this story because I didn’t know back then that I had anemia. I didn’t know why I lost my energy, patience and smile. But now, I came to know how important nutrition. When I loose my appetite as a result of stress and long hours of continuous work, I try to grab something nutritious to eat on the side.

Anemia can be a silent killer disease and it’s important not to ignore its symptoms.

My Dream Wedding is No Wedding

wedding-flowers-1

“I don’t want to wear a white wedding dress.” I tell my parents.

“Don’t say that!”, my parents shout out.

“I don’t want a fancy party either.”

Crosses appear on their faces.

“It doesn’t mean I don’t want to get married!”, I elaborate.

And I am not exaggerating.  I am the only girl I know who doesn’t want to wear a white dress. I am the only girl I know who hates even to attend weddings. Again, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get married.

Last summer, I was supposed to have five weddings, four of them were of my cousins and the fifth, my uncle’s. Those kind of weddings that you can’t have an excuse for not attending.

As the curfew was declared in Cairo last August, two of the weddings were cancelled with only the Katb Ketab (Religious) ceremony and the other three were postponed.

And of course I was glad I didn’t have to attend any.

Wait, I almost partied when I heard the news.

Again, Why do I hate weddings?

I see wedding parties as an exaggeration. An exaggerated idea of marriage. For me, marriage is the simple idea of a union between a man and a woman that would start up a household. This simple idea is scared in all religions, and maybe that’s why people made up all the celebrations that have become so deeply rooted into our culture for anyone to abandon them.

But keeping the rituals simple is essential, in my opinion, to match the simpleness of the idea. Keeping it simple is the highest form of respect for the sacredness of marriage.

In Islam, for instance, marriage is done by writing the names of both the bride and groom on a form  by the Maazoun which is signed by the couple and two witnesses. Family members would be present.

A public announcement is a necessary condition for marriage.

The Prophet (PBUH) asked us to give food. No parties.

In the Islamic World, A couple of generations ago,  women would be celebrating at the house of the bride’s parents. All female family members, friends and neighbors would be dressing up, singing and dancing.

No fancy parties. An all-female party, where women can remove their hijab and dance freely without contradicting their religious beliefs.

A couple of decades later, when things became more ‘open’, weddings were still held at the house of the bride’s parents. The main living room would be emptied from all furniture and chairs would be ordered and placed in rows or semi-circles. Two chairs with flowers at the back would be reserved for the bride and groom.

Everyone sits, men and women, and some ‘wedding songs’ would be played. And that was pretty much it.

And if the living room won’t fit, the ‘wedding’ might be extended to the garden (if there was any) or even the rooftop.

No tens-of-thousands-pound-fancy-five-star-hotel-halls.

No men-and-women-dancing-contradicting-our-culture and well, our religion.

No guests-can’t-hear-the-one-sitting beside-them because of the loud music.

No children-sleeping-on-their-mother’s-lap because wedding starts at 10 pm.

You see the point I am making?

I am against weddings because of three things: first, I don’t get all the money paid for a couple of hours spent dancing.

Second, I see wedding parties as a place for people to show off to each other, and something that would make good gossiping material for all family/friends, attendees, and definitely not missed by the folks on Facebook.

“The groom is much prettier than the bride!”

“The daughter was very pretty, but her dress was awful!”

“She made me embarrassed in front of the other families.”

And so on. And so forth.

And last, Weddings are family discos. Everyone gets in the dance floor.  My point is, If you’re family approves of you to dance in a wedding they should approve of you going to a disco with you’re friends. No really, what is the difference?  That’s another result of our society’s double standards.

You’re going to tell me it happens once in your life and all of that shit. Well, what difference is it when we’re having all the weddings exactly the same? Other than the bride and the groom of course, everything else is exactly the same: The white wedding dress, the hotel hall, the dance floor in the middle of the hall (That’s why I call weddings family discos), the wedding starting at night and ending a bit before sunset, the flowers behind the couple’s seats (Kosha), the Zafaa or the entrance ceremony, the couple exchanging their juice glasses (since we don’t drink alcohol)..etc.

Which bores me.

Apparently people have lost any sense of creativity and stopped thinking out of the box! Or maybe this is the result of Mubarak’s regime, that change is forbidden, and those asking for it are cursed?

So no one has the urge to change?

I will.

Because I believe that a revolution of the Mind is what we really need.

Photo from Google.com